|Hiking a trail|
In support of its flagship initiatives like the Great American Rail-Trail and TrailNation, RTC awards annual funding to trail development projects nationwide through its Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund. On May 30, the nonprofit awarded $130,000 to 10 different trail projects in 10 different states. The Doppelt Fund, established in 2015, has supported more than 3 dozen projects since its inception. It was launched by New York philanthropist Jeff Doppelt and primarily targets smaller trail projects that might not otherwise qualify for traditional public funding sources.
For the 2019 grant cycle, RTC received application requests in excess of a combined $4.7 million, which speaks to the importance of the fund. The primary benefactor of this year's grants was Mountain Heritage, Inc., in Virginia, which received $25,000 to restore a one-time railroad trestle and extend the Mendota Trail. Other recipients included Friends of the Bourne Rail Trail ($15,000), City of Farragut ($15,000), and Putnam Blueways & Trails Citizen Support Organization ($5,000).